The Google Doodle is an illustration from a much loved scene from his most well-known novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
The Google Doodle is an illustration from a much loved scene from his most well-known novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

The 176th birthday of author Mark Twain was celebrated today with a Google Doodle on the search engine's homepage.

The Google Doodle is an illustration from a much loved scene from one of his most well-known novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

The mural, which covers the complete width of the screen making it one of the largest Doodle yet, shows Tom tricking his friend into whitewashing a fence for him.

Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida' Missouri on November 30, 1835. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published in 1876 and was followed by its sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in 1884.

Often described as "the first truly American writer", Twain died on April 21, 1910 at the age of 74 in Redding, Connecticut. Famously, Twain was born during a visit by Halley's Comet predicted that he would "go out with it." He died the day following the comet's subsequent return.

During his lifetime he wrote 28 books and numerous short stories, letters and sketches.

While the reason while Twain's 176th birthday is significant is unknown, the latest Doodle follows a trend for literacy celebration.

Last week the 60th anniversary of the first book published by Polish science-fiction writer Stainslaw Lem was celebrated with possibly the most elaborate Goodle Doodles to date, featuring a character resembling Lem encountering a giant robot.

Past themes include The Flintstone's 50th Anniversary and the 30th anniversary of hit arcade classic Pac-Man.